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One of my best gal pals moved to New York City after college to pursue a magazine job. When she became pregnant with her first child and began looking to line up daycare, she was coming across places that had a year-long waiting list. Factoring in maternity leave, that would require some pretty precise family planning.

Now, she’s a mom of three and continues to amaze me with how she negotiates the ins and outs of big city living with a big family. Mainly, I’m impressed with her creative use of space in her square-footage-challenged apartment. Exhibit A: A triple-stacked bunk bed!

Triple bunk beds
Yet still, no amount of shelves and space-saving solutions can entirely eliminate the need for a little extra storage room for not just my friend, but other New Yorkers.

Thankfully, Closetbox — which takes a valet approach to self-storage — has expanded and is now serving New York City.

There’s plenty of ways to take advantage of Closetbox. As an example, we know you New Yorkers are stylish, so we can stash your off-season wardrobes in our climate-controlled storage facilities and return them when the next fashion season arrives. Or, we can store furniture or other important belongings that just don’t seem to fit in your apartment. Trade out your summer sports gear with your winter equipment. Plus, there’s no need to taxi out to a storage unit: We’ll pick up your belongings and deliver them back to you when you’re ready, saving you some of those famous New York minutes.

With that said, here’s a salute to savvy New Yorkers who have gotten creative with their small spaces.

The communal bookshelf

Sara-Chana Silverstein and her husband raised seven children in a teeny-tiny apartment in New York City.

“I literally had shelves hanging off the ceiling,” she says. That’s where she hung winter coats in the summer and swimming gear in the winter.

Every wall, corner and square inch under the bed were taken.

But, she also had a huge library of books and no room for them.

Her savvy solution?

“I put a bookshelf outside of my apartment, in the hallway and just kept my library out there!”  says Silverstein, the author of the upcoming book, MOODTOPIA. “If someone wanted to borrow a book, that was fine. It became the building’s library.”

Bookcase to store books

The creative kitchen

Felicia Cohen, a professional organizer, speaker and author, once lived in a 90-square-foot New York City micro-apartment and had many creative storage solutions. “I stored my bananas in my toaster oven,” she tells us. You can see her showing off her apartment in a YouTube video, which has garnered nearly 18 million views.

“As a professional organizer, I’ve seen a number of interesting storage areas,” she says. “One client stored her laundry in her oven!”

As for her own apartment, she put up a bunk bed with a small book collection behind it and she kept a well-stocked mini fridge.

Stainless steel baking oven.
Genius storage solutions

Teresa Alessandro, a “life-stylist” and residential real estate agent, is in the business of helping people find a space to call home, negotiate for it and decorate it. Over the years, she’s seen clients get creative with how they store possessions.

“The most unique way to repurpose containers was from a client of mine in Astoria,” she says. “She stored loose earrings in Band-Aids blister bandage containers, stacking them nicely and labeling them.”

Another storage hack she’s seen? A client used uniquely shaped glass containers that once held yogurts, jams and spreads to store cotton balls, Q-tips, lipsticks and more. “The glass makes things easier to find, and the array of different shapes makes storage a bit more artistic.”